“That’s 29 months of repetition,” Shoecraft said. “It equals nearly 3¼ years just doing addition and subtraction of whole numbers.”
Shoecraft said his addition and subtraction concept can be mastered by students in four months, and they don’t have to go back year after year for repetitive review. Teaching multiplication and division can also be speeded up.
“We can wrap it all up — addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division — by the end of the second grade. That’s years saved,” he said. “It buys time to teach other subjects.”
With his program, Shoecraft said “children proceed with a base of confidence. They know how to get the right answer. We’ve taken the drudgery out of math. Children who have learned this mathematics concept come away from the program feeling like they’re smart — and they are. And smart kids stay in school.”
UHV President Glenn Goerke said the approach to teaching mathematics could take a quantum leap forward if Shoecraft’s teaching concept is pursued. “Achievement in math, supposedly the toughest subject, could directly impact achievement in other subjects,” Goerke said.
“I think the thing that has impressed me the most is to watch the enthusiasm and pride of achievement by first-graders who have mastered the concept. That same enthusiasm can be transferred to their behavior, to other subjects.”
The University of Houston – Victoria will meet with area business and industry leaders to preview a video of an innovative mathematics education program that could revolutionize how the subject is taught.
Instead of 2 + 2, this concept would allow pupils in first and second grade to do “monster math” problems with confidence and accuracy, and it would leave them anxious to tackle more, according to UHV mathematician Paul Shoecraft.
At a 1:30 p.m. viewing Nov. 12 in the fifth-floor Communications Center of One O’Connor Plaza, the math video “MOVE IT” will be shown.
Shoecraft has been working on the development of the unique mathematics education program for years. The success of the program already has been demonstrated in several area schools, according to UHV.
Shoecraft’s concept of teaching math is an attempt to eliminate repetition. “Math books,” he said, “have never been very good. By grade two, they’re 70 percent redundant.”
He said today’s typical teacher of first grade pupils spends nine months teaching addition and subtraction of whole numbers. Nine months is also blocked for teaching the same thing to second-graders. Third-graders and fourth-graders devote four months to adding and subtracting. The fifth-grader has two months of repetitive review, and sixth-grade students have at least one month of basic review.
Area Leaders to View Shoecraft’s Math Concepts [Video]
The Victoria Advocate, October 28, 1990
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